Lemon balm or mint is an herb grown for its medicinal, culinary and ornamental values. The fresh leaves add a lemony flavor to soups, sauces and oils, while a tea brewed with the leaves is calms the nerves and eases digestive problems. The oil from the lemon balm plant is also use in aromatherapy to relax, invigorate and ease nervous tension. Here’s how to grown your own lemon balm.
Choose the proper location to grow your lemon balm. Whether you decide on a well-planned, ornate herb garden, an existing flowerbed or a pot on the patio, lemon balm needs moist soil and full sun or partial shade to do well.
Prepare the soil. Although this herb enjoys a moist, rich soil, it also does well in regular garden soil. A general-purpose fertilizer added monthly ensures that the plant has all the nutrients it needs. If you decide to use a pot, a good potting soil is sufficient for good growth.
Plant lemon balm seed or propagate by root division from an existing plant. Place seedlings 24 inches apart and leave 2 feet between rows because they grow rapidly and usually require thinning after a few years. Early spring or autumn is the best time to divide roots and thin plants.
Water your plants at least weekly, especially during dry spells. Pots require more frequent watering, especially if they are clay or another porous material.
Harvest your herbs when the plants are young and tender, as soon as they begin to flower. It is best to do this in the early morning. After you cut them back, your plants will produce another crop of leaves to harvest later in the season.